Early history of Lakhswadeep is unwritten. Local traditions attribute the first settlement on these Islands to the period of Cheraman Perumal, the last king of Kerala. It is believed that the first settlers were hindus/ Buddhists. Even now unmistakable Hindu social stratification exists in these Islands. Buddhist archaeological remains are also found in Kavaratti and Andrott Islands. Cultural and social Influence from the mainland state of Kerala had a deep impact on the inhabitants of the Islanders. Greek, Roman and Arab sailors used to visit the Islands for collecting boatloads of cowries and tortoise-shell for commerce.Missionary activity in the 7th century AD and continued contact with Arab traders eventually led to the conversion of all the islanders to Islam. A Muslim saint, Hazrat Ubaidullah who succeeded to convert the inhabitants to Islam, was buried on Andrott. His grave is revered to this day as a sacred site.
Later in the 12th century, when a Kolathiri princess married a Muslim convert, the islands became a part of the only Islamic dominion in the Kerala region.
During the 14th century Marco Polo, the famous Italian Explorer, seemed to have visited these Island. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Portuguese arrived on the Islands and colonized them.
Later Bibis (female rulers) and their husbands ruled the islands, until control of the islands passed to Tipu Sultan in 1783. When Tipu was killed by the British at the battle of Srirangapatnam in 1799, the islands came under British control. Sovereignity was transferred to India upon Indian independence in 1947, and the islands were constituted a union territory in 1956.
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